Help and Support
Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team
Calderdale Council is supported by the Department of Health and Social Care to deliver a new COVID-19 testing programme, as part of a national programme. Lateral Flow Testing brings is an additional tool to support with the control of disease transmission across our community.
The Lateral Flow Test is a clinically validated swab antigen test that does not require a laboratory for processing and can turnaround results within an hour. The test works extremely well in finding cases with high viral load (those who are most infectious) who may not show signs of active infection, and who may unwittingly transmit the disease to colleagues, customers, family and friends. You do not have to have symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has, to access this testing programme – it is for those working in more risky environments. It is worth pointing out that although the test works well in finding positive cases, a negative result is not a reliable indicator that you do not have the virus, and you will therefore still need to abide by all regulations and guidance.
In Calderdale we are taking a targeted approach to the rollout of Lateral Flow Testing. We are focusing on people we know carry a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the environments they work in. This is also available to volunteers and staff in the Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS):
If you are working/volunteering and meet one of the following criteria, you are eligible for regular testing:
- You are involved in activities which involve meeting people face-to-face indoors. This could include, but is not limited to, providing emergency food or shelter, working in food banks, driving people to medical appointments, providing in-person care, support, social care or therapy.
- You are volunteering to support the vaccination programme, testing programme, pulse oximetry delivery programme or other covid-related tasks.
- You are doing regular tasks for other at-risk people, dog-walking, medication collection, which involve a greater element of risk. One-off volunteer tasks, which involve simply dropping off a parcel on the doorstep isn’t considered to present a high risk.
Calderdale Council’s approach is underpinned by its key objectives:
- Identify undetected disease and break the chain of transmission
- Increase confidence in settings on the principle that it’s a safe place to work
- Protect those at highest risk, and prevent the transmission of disease in high risk settings
- Ensure those who are asked to self-isolate are supported to do so
Eligible people are invited to book an appointment at either of our Testing Stations listed below with appointments available Mon-Fri, 09.00-16.30.
St Johns Health Centre
Todmorden Community College
Appointments must be booked in advance via our online booking platform BOOK HERE
If after taking a Lateral Flow Test a positive result is shown the subject will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, along with household members, in line with government guidelines.
Guidance on support Calderdale Council may be able to offer you to self-isolate can be found HERE
Cliff Dunbavin COVID-19 OPCP Programme Manager Calderdale Council
This information is also available and will be updated online here
About VSI Alliance: All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arthritis Action Groups are an opportunity for people with arthritis to talk with others and share their tips on how to manage their arthritis and stay active whilst at home, and we actively welcome new attendees. We discuss a variety of self-management techniques. Participants will need to contact us directly for the log in instructions for the meeting, and we have produced ‘How To’ guides for those not familiar with using Zoom.
North East and Yorkshire: 25th Jan 2pm, 12th March 2pm
Evening groups: 18th Jan 6pm, 1st March 6pm
For joining details see http://www.arthritisaction.org.uk/media-centre/events
Often when you’re involved in an emergency response either as a volunteer or a paid member of staff you don’t have time to sit back and reflect on the actions you have been taking or the wider context. All One Collective & Lab will be running 6 workshops for individuals who have taken their own community action during Covid-19, volunteers involved in mutual aid groups and local community organisations to reflect on their work and their involvement in the Covid-19 response.
The workshops will provide a space for participants to explore:
• Health: What do we mean by health? Holistic understandings of health, right to healthcare, community responses to health and wellbeing.
• Identity and values, our reasons for taking action, individual values and experiences, self-care tools, wellbeing and sustainability
• You and me: what is community? Who is included and excluded? Prejudice and discrimination. Power, what does it mean and who holds it? How do we empower ourselves and others?
• Taking Action: what has worked and what hasn’t? What have we learned? How do we have more impact? How can we be more effective? What does success look like?
• Connecting with and learning from Covid responders in other countries who are part of the Active Citizens network.
• Recovery: What does it look like? How do we build back better? Challenging inequality, building a low carbon economy.
The workshops will help participants to develop confidence and capacity to take further social actions both individually and collectively, and to learn from others involved in this work in Calderdale, nationally and from groups internationally.
The workshops will run on Zoom but with some offline activities integrated into the sessions. Each workshop builds on the previous one so whilst we understand some participants might not be able to attend all six, we would encourage participants to attend as many as possible.
The sessions will run from 10am -1pm (with a break)
The dates of the workshops are:
• 26th Jan
• 2nd Feb
• 9th Feb
• Week off for half-term)
• 23rd Feb
• 2nd March
• 9th March
The project is funded by the British Council.
If anyone interested would like to join but is worried about the digital aspect of the workshops, please do get in touch and we can talk about any further support you might need to help you participate.
For people interested in participating, please email: email@example.com
The OMI and Friday Flyer team have put together some helpful suggestions and a list of advice outlining the current coronavirus situation in Calderdale.
The list is by no means exhaustive. For current, uptodate information, always refer to official channels. These are listed at the end of this article.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of posting.
Lockdown – restrictions
Stay at home is the advisory.
Only go for groceries or emergencies. You can also go out once for exercise.
If you have coronavirus symptoms: Isolate. Do not go to your GP. Call 111 for advice. Only request assistance if symptoms become severe.
If you must commute, observe social distancing where possible.
Always wear a face mask in closed spaces. If you are exempt from wearing face coverings, have supporting documentation at hand.
Children under the age of 11 do need a face mask.
Health and wellbeing
Clinically vulnerable should shield
Covid and diabetes: Having diabetes does not make you more likely to catch coronavirus. It may make it worse however.
The vaccine is deemed to be safe.
Vaccination is prioritised for the elderly, vulnerable and keyworkers.
Do not contact the NHS requesting vaccination. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn.
As we do more online and there is concern, scams are on the rise.
Protect yourself online.
Be wary of people approaching you, selling coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine is presently not for sale.
For the latest Coronavirus information, visit:
Up to 25% of a home’s heat can be lost through the roof and if your attic room is not properly insulated, you could be wasting money on your energy bills. Following a successful application process, Calderdale Council will receive over £2million from the Government’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme, to help improve the energy efficiency of low-income households (up to £30k household income or means tested benefits). The funding will be used to support residents living in the least energy efficient homes to make residents’ homes healthier, warmer and cheaper to heat as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate emergency.
Eligible households could receive the work, either fully-funded or significantly discounted. The work will be carried out by Better Homes and Yorkshire’s delivery partner, Halifax-based, Eclipse Energy, energy efficient home improvement experts and winners of the 2019 Sustainable Business Award for Calderdale.
This offer is only available for a limited time! Find out more today by calling Eclipse Energy direct on 01422 414850, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The first week of February 1-7 is dedicated to Children’s Mental Health.
Place2Be.org.uk have prepared a series of activities, workshops and information to promote awareness and direct to sources of assistance for those in need.
Including an incredible half-day conference (watch live or buy ticket to watch the recording at your discretion) “Creativity as a healing tool: connecting mind body and imagination”. With keynotes from Lemn Sissay and Besseel Van Der Kolk.
For more information, visit Place2Be.org.uk
The Green Doctors visit around 2000 homes each year across the Yorkshire and North East regions. We help households to save between £100 – 1000 per year on their energy bills through switching and increased energy efficiency whilst also making homes warmer and healthier.
The Green Doctor service is completely free and provides valuable assistance to many vulnerable households. It may be an elderly person needing help switching, a young family applying for energy grants, or perhaps someone suffering from a health condition exacerbated by the cold and struggling to keep their home to a safe temperature. The scheme is open to eligible people in all types of tenure. Housing Associations, Local Councils, privately rented and privately owned residents are all offered the opportunity to participate in the Green Doctor scheme. The aim of the service is to provide ‘assisted action’ in order for people to maximise their income and to ’empower’ consumers to make informed decisions.
- Low income
- Living with debt
- Physical health issues
- Mental health issues
- In emergency accommodation
- Poor housing conditions
- In receipt of benefits
How does the programme work?
The local referral network provides referrals of vulnerable residents who are in (or at risk of falling into) fuel poverty.
A householder can apply directly or be referred by a professional / organisation.
HOME ENERGY VISIT:
A highly-trained Green Doctor Home Energy Adviser then carries out a home visit (these are now being conducted over the telephone due to Covid). The Green Doctor assessor will provide tailored in – depth energy efficiency advice and help look for a better deal on energy bills and applying for grants such as the Warm Homes Discount. All the team are trained to assess and advise on heating systems, damp and mould, and can support clients to deal with problems with energy and water suppliers.
Based on the findings of the visit/telephone call there are a range of onward referrals that can be made. These include: referral to an income maximisation service, assessment for larger energy efficiency measures (insulation and heating), referral to the local fire service Safe & Well scheme, and identification of serious hazards in the home. With over 12 years’ experience, the Green Doctor team are highly trained in dealing with the wide variety of issues that present themselves during the many home visits we make and we have built partnerships with many local support organisations.
All Green Doctors are trained to City & Guilds Level 3 Energy Awareness 6281-01 as a minimum. We also have 2 fully qualified City & Guilds 6361 Domestic Energy Assessors who are able to assess properties and households for larger energy efficiency measures such as central heating systems and cavity / loft insulation. In addition, all our Green Doctor team are trained to identify, advise and support households with damp, mould and condensation issues.
The Green Doctors have training in mental health awareness, suicide awareness, safeguarding, de-escalation techniques, crime prevention, dementia friendly training, Better Conversations, Universal Credit, Falls, Trips and hazards & hoarding awareness training.
In terms of outreach/marketing/promotion the Green Doctors delivered almost 200 presentations, talks and workshops in the last year to a wide range of both frontline professional workers and local community groups. We also deliver in-depth training for front line workers with our own Green Doctor Accredited ‘Fuel Poverty Awareness’ course.